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Labour asks for a second term in government and chastises the ‘progress deniers’? February 28, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

From RTÉ this evening:

Labour leader Joan Burton has defended the party’s record in Government and appealed to voters to give her party a second term in government to build “a decade of opportunity”.

And what about this for the most abysmal piece of ‘political’ terminology we’ve had the misfortune to have foisted upon us in quite some time:

She said the economy is recovering, and more and more people are finding employment.

However, Ms Burton also said there were “progress deniers”.

Some of them, she said, “hijacked peaceful protests” to make their points and she said in a fair society that was “bullying”.

And btw can anyone seriously point to any difference between her and her predecessor?


1. doctorfive - February 28, 2015

I am progress denier on the sinister fringe.


WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2015

It should be like Spartacus. I am progress denier on the sinister fringe too!


6/5against - February 28, 2015

I am a progress denier!


WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2015

Welcome. We need more.


2. CL - February 28, 2015

Gerry Adams in Tipperary has accused Joan Burton of being the ‘architect of austerity’.
Meanwhile, Jack O’Connor, at a ‘fringe event’ in Killarney said Labour should not rule out going into coalition with Sinn Fein.
But the numbers wouldn’t really work, not without Fianna Fail.


3. Jolly Red Giant - March 1, 2015

O’Connor and Shinners sucking up to one another – a match made in heaven.

And did anyone really expect Burton to be any different to Gimmemore.


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2015

Good question. Not any of us, obviously, but Labour clearly did – though not different in substance but different in winning support. I wonder if they have time to jettison Burton before the election. Though they won’t because they still don’t seem to understand what the problem is. It’s not the leadership it’s what they stand for (or don’t stand for) and are doing or not doing.


que - March 1, 2015

Yes, it wasn’t the paint that was the problem but the foundations.

Now the hard question is do they gut the house, move out and build a new one or keep on doing cosmetic changes.

Knowing people it’ll be the latter.


workers republic - March 1, 2015

” it’s not the leadership,it’s what they stand for, (and don’t stand for) and are doing and not doing.” +1, spot on WbS


4. ivorthorne - March 1, 2015

I do not deny that there has been progress – it is just that it has been progress toward the FG right wing vision for Irish society.

There has not been substantial progress toward the vision for Ireland that people thought they were voting for when they gave Labour TDs their votes.


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2015

Exactly, that’s it on the nail.


5. John Connor - March 1, 2015

What I don’t really understand is why everyone dislikes Labour so much, why they are getting all the blame for austerity – and I include myself in this.

As they are all saying this weekend, Labour is in a minority in a Govt dominated by a party which has moved to the right.

So what do we all expect? Why be surprised at right wing policies?

Labour have done some good things – restored the minimum wage, probably (but who knows) protected SW a bit from what FG would really like to do – but, on the other hand, they have delivered a series of regressive budgets in contrast to the progressive budgets introduced by FF.

For me, this point about the budget is the kicker – in our system, I think the budget approach to tax and SW defines the main elements of policy and Labour is supporting a classic right wing stance without protest. What’s also worrying is that Pat Rabitte’s and Joanna Tuffy’s recent articles in the IT show that they don’t have the remotest idea about the issue.

Still, what did I expect? Why am I and everyone on the left so p’eed off with Labour?

I can only talk about my own reactions, but I think I feel annoyed because they don’t even look like they are trying – rightly or wrongly, the impression I have is that the Labour people in Govt just want to be Ministers and are going through the motions in order to get their pensions.

The latest thing is your man (the socialist Minister!!) who wants to control rents, but is not going to do anything so simple as tell the citizens how this is to be done………..!


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2015

” I think I feel annoyed because they don’t even look like they are trying ”

That’s a big part of it. But the other part – and this sort of paraphrases what you say yourself – is that they genuinely don’t seem to see themselves as anything other than a softening impact on FG. They’re effectively a centrist wing of FG with no ambition above and beyond that (Noonan’s talk this week of a centre right government with the LP as part of that was revealing in ways he might not have intended it to be). Or if there is one I can’t see it. They don’t disagree with the current dispensation, they don’t want it changed in any clear way (arguably FF is actually to their left in some functional ways). There is no vision of an ireland as the LP would want it being in any serious sense different to the Ireland we have. Even their flagship health approach is not one of an actual NHS but a more centre and centre right cobbled together thing.

And if that’s the case then what is the point of the exercise? Why not simply fold into FG (that won’t happen of course, but it would be logical in some ways).


John Connor - March 1, 2015

I think you’re right – all this is why Lab is on the edge of extinction.

What interests me is the emotional aspect.

I used to think that policies not personalities mattered, but now I’m not so sure.

At some level, I know I want to vote for people who have a spark of life about them and who believe in things and implement them, or at least try!

A good politician has to have more than just a good brain and a good policy document – I don’t know how to define it, but they must have some sort of drive or force about them that gives them the impetus to change things. When we see this quality, we recognise it immediately and respond both intellectually and emotionally, the emotional side being almost as important. Of course, you can be conned – PR people make big bucks teaching how to fake it.

Even if I didn’t agree with all their policies, even if they got nothing from being in Govt, I’d support Lab as a party of the left if they had some spark of life about themselves, if they believed in something, and were doing what they could.

However, it’s a sign of how awful Lab is that even this minimal level of support is missing.

The result is that a lot of people are going to vote next year against Lab in the hope of finally putting the party out of its misery.


ivorthorne - March 1, 2015

I think this is somewhat related to the anger people feel toward the US when it comes to its foreign policy and the relative indifference they feel towards the horrible actions of other states. The US preaches about freedom, equality and the like but supports dictators, torture, killing civilians etc.


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2015

John, there’s a lot I agree with there, though I’ve never been an LP member or much of an LP voter, in fact almost never IIRC. But one thing that struck me was when Rabbitte was interviewed just before the last election and referencing issues facing people in his constituency seemed to come out with a line that was effectively a sort of hang wringing ‘one does one’s best but what can be done?’. I’m paraphrasing, but it was appalling to see this from someone who once, at least rhetorically, signed up to a politics that saw working class people being autonomous and able to progress themselves. As it happens I’ve a personal reason to not dislike Rabbitte but to me all that symbolised was the complete and total defeat of what I would recognise as left politics.

And what of their inability to seem to lock into what should be their support base, though that’s been a problem for years/decades now. I don’t know what their future is. Not really social democratic, even the mildest form of same. Locked into a perpetual embrace with Fine Gael.


Michael Carley - March 2, 2015

Labour in Ireland are in the position of Labour in the UK, especially Scotland: something has shifted and they have not noticed and are not responding. A debate has opened about what kind of society we want to live in, clearly not this one, and parties that offer something other than more of the same are able to profit. This should be, at a minimum, the great opening for social democracy, and they don’t know what to do bar argue about the third decimal place in spending cuts.


que - March 1, 2015

Because not only do they not try but they also stilk claim kudos for being a part of the political spectrum where the entry fee used ve doing what you talked about.
The FGs dont have this problem because they do what they say they will unashamedly: right wing free market malarkey.


Aonrud - March 1, 2015

+1 que. There’s no reason to expect FG to be anything other than a right wing party. Labour on the other hand are a right wing party using up space/resources that should be occupied by at least a party of the centre left or social democracy.

They take up the position between the left and FF/FG from which the balance of political discourse could be influenced leftward – plus TU affiliation, even the Labour name – all of which could be put to good use if Labour weren’t squandering them.


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2015

Yeah +1 as well. And they are blocking at this point.


que - March 1, 2015

Progress deniers meet deniers of progress.


6. fergal - March 1, 2015

If labour really were about softening the hawks in fg why are they talking about some kind of voting pact with fg? Why don’t they name and shame? Or get their friends in the media to? AN Other in fg wants to sell Aer Lingus for a few sausages and a pack of taytos? AN Other in fg wants to abolish the dole? Etc etc and then fight the election on an indo platform(serious suspension of reality needed here). I suspect lab are kind of in love with fg in kind of 50 shades of grey way(although I haven’t read it).
What language does Kelly speak? One quick way of identiying a person’s politics is to get their opinion on rent/price control. Those on the right always baulk at this- those on the left don’t. Kelly is just another centrist- he won’t bring in rent control but an option for landlords to link rent to the CPI if they want to and tax write offs if they do up a place etc- n other words ‘the market’ will continue to do want it does best- transfer money((rents) from the bottom up.


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2015

And as demonstrated by Rabbitte last week in the SBP many of them don’t give a toss about Aer Lingus. Indeed it’s hard to see what they do feel that strongly about. A stronger welfare system, well sort of, public sector, well sort of. It’s all sort of. A sort of slightly greater emphasis than the less rightwing elements of FG or FF would go for. It’s slim pickings electorally.


7. Tawdy - March 1, 2015

Je Suis ” Progress Denier.


workers republic - March 2, 2015

One of my pet hates is people generally call the ‘Labour’ Party, Labour ; especially when socialists do it. It’s like calling Sinn Fein ,the Republicans.
On the one hand the LP have said they will have an agreed electoral platform of promises and an voting pact; whilst on the other hand they are going as an ‘independent party’. An obvious contradiction, they are going into the
next election as a junior partner of FG. No doubt, they haven’t a chance in a million of being the senior partner. So they’ll have little or no power. Their statement that they against the sale of
Aer Lingus unless there are safeguards,is saying nothing of consequence, as that is the stated position of the government.
On my original point about the word Labour, it’s probably because I read Connolly as a teenager and he used the term as meaning the organized working class. A sign of the times when the WP
republished a pamphlet based on a
lecture given by Republican Congress

man George Gillmore they Changed the word Labour in the title to the Working Class. The LP have made the word toxic.

is of nil consequence,as that is the government position


8. Colm B - March 1, 2015

They can huff and they can puff and make up all the silly college debating society insults they like but Labour are toast. In electoral terms they are the equivalent of wiley coyote running off the cliff but not realising that he is treading on air. Maybe we should just call them ‘gravity deniers’?

Regardless of what else happens in the general election Im looking forward to watching a good bout of PASOKing. Now thats what I call progress!


9. Gewerkschaftler - March 2, 2015

Ich bin ein Fortschrittsverleugner!


10. doctorfive - March 9, 2015

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